“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Well, it certainly will be if Middlesbrough’s Alvaro Negredo finds the net tonight.
‘Boro host Hull in the latest installment of Monday Night Football, and the bottom-half clash has turned out to be the most exciting fixture of the season for two lads chasing half of £250,000 each.
This could be the fourth time the Hotshot Jackpot has clicked this season – and with 7 legs already down, it would be even more thrilling than seeing a pair of M&S slippers sat under the tree.
Jermain Defoe, Christian Benteke, Jon Walters, Matthew Phillips, Sadio Mane/Divock Origi, Alexis Sanchez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have already done the business for our punters. There’s just one piece left to the puzzle, step forward Mr Negredo.
After bagging in ‘Boro’s opening game of the season against Stoke, helping his side on the start of a three-game unbeaten run, the 30-year-old striker ran into a dry spell.
That is, until last week at the King Power Stadium. He had a blinder of a game, bagging a brace of belting finishes and silencing his critics in the process.
He is no stranger to a goal against The Tigers, netting one back in Manchester City’s league-winning season of 2013/14. It’s time for La fiera de Vallecas (The beast of Vallecas) to do it all over again.
One man hoping he can do the business is our Jackpot-hopeful from Liverpool. His team have already let him down this weekend – but we reckon this man getting a goal tonight could save Christmas.
He said: “I’ve been playing the Jackpot since the start of the season, so I always keep tabs on it. The closest I’ve got before is five selections.
“When I saw that Matthew Phillips had scored in the 93rd minute I realised I could be in with a chance. I’m a Liverpool season ticket-holder, and I’ve got to say, watching that Zlatan goal go in was the closest I’ve ever been to shouting for United!”
It seemed the big Swede brought a moment of realisation for both of our Jackpot chasers. The other Negredo-backer, from Kildare, said: “I saw the ball come to Zlatan, and I just knew he was going to go for it. I saw it bouncing off the line and was begging it to please not come out! His and Sanchez’s goal made me realise I could actually be in with a shout.”
The £125,000 prize money has left the two backers with a very nervous Monday feeling. Our Kildare customer continued: “It’s a lot of money. I’ve been speaking with my brother about it all weekend and I can’t explain how I’m feeling right now.
“I’m going to be so nervous tonight. I remember watching the Everton game when the two lads needed Lukaku to win it and I felt excited for them! So I can’t imagine how I’ll feel. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it. I might have to go for a long walk and let someone text me if he scores!”
The Liverpool lad has different ideas, though: “I’m trying not to get ahead of myself. It’s a huge game because you could see it being a 0-0 draw if you didn’t have this riding on it!
“If I could choose between my team winning the Premier League or Negredo scoring, I’d still take the money. Klopp knows what he is doing, and we will win the league this year anyway. “